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7.2 Quake Hits SW Pakistan

People read verses of the Quran while gathering with others outside their homes in Quetta, Pakistan, after a severe earthquake hits the area, Jan 18 2011

A magnitude 7.2 earthquake shook southwestern Pakistan early Wednesday, jolting residents of cities as far apart as the country's largest city of Karachi and the Indian capital, New Delhi.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the quake struck at 1:23 a.m. local time (2023 UTC Tuesday) at a depth of 84 kilometers, with the epicenter some 55 kilometers west of the town of Dalbandin in Baluchistan province, the country's most sparsely populated area.

Reuters news agency quoted Pakistani officials as saying several people were injured in Dalbandin when the roofs of their houses collapsed.

The Hawaii-based Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said the quake had not triggered a tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

The Pentagon said U.S. troops in southwestern Afghanistan felt the tremor, but there were no injuries or an impact on U.S. military operations in Afghanistan or on the small contingent in Pakistan. U.S. officials also said that so far, there was no request from Pakistan for assistance with quake relief.

Earthquakes are common in the region. A magnitude 7.6 quake on October 8, 2005 killed more than 70,000 people in northwestern Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir and left more than 3 million people homeless.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.